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Mekton is a Humongous Mecha Tabletop RPG published by R. Talsorian Games (who also published Cyberpunk 2020 and Teenagers From Outer Space), and was, in fact, the first Mecha RPG ever published. All official settings are Real Robot settings, but it is possible to run a Super Robot game within the rules as well.

Editions

  • "White Box" Mekton:The very first Mekton published, it was more of a wargame or boardgame than an RPG. The mecha battle on a hexmap representing an entire planet.
  • Mekton:Published in 1985. The first anime mecha role-playing game (BattleTech was only a boardgame at this time.) Introduced the world of Algol.
  • Mekton II: Second edition rules
  • Mekton Zeta: Third edition rules, with greater emphasis on replicating anime.

Settings

Official Settings

  • Algol: The first published Mekton setting. A chilly world on the brink of an impending ice age, Algol is home to a lost colony of humans struggling to survive against an increasingly hostile environment, alien invasion, and each other. Was Rebooted with each edition before beign abandoned due to editorial policy changes- or was, prior to Mike Pondsmith's taking control of the company.
  • Mekton Empire: Introduced in Mekton II - The Bendar Spiral Galaxy is home to a vast and ancient Imperium in decline. The forces of darkness threatens the Imperium from without while decadence and decay destroy it from within. It is a time of adventure and intrigue, of political machinations and star-spanning battles. Mekton Empire provides epic scope to the game of Mekton. Giant battlefleets ply the void, scheming politicians maneuver for power, and great mysteries hide secrets that could destroy, or save, an entire Galaxy. Mekton Empire is a cross between Dune and Five Star Stories, where characters can become heroes for their deeds of honor and turn around to be stabbed in the back by their closest friend. Later Retconned out of existance
  • Jovian Chronicles: Originally a setting for Mekton II created by Dream Pod 9, before being published as a game in its own right under a different system. Has been described as "American Gundam" (well, Canadian Gundam actually), revolving around a conflict in our own solar system between the powers of the Jovian Confederation and the Central Earth Government and Administration.
  • Invasion Terra: The default setting for Mekton Zeta, with Earth being invaded by an expansionist galactic empire. Heavily influenced by Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Initially developed as a test-game for the Zeta edition beofre beign published.
  • Imperial Star: Introduced in Mekton Zeta - similar to Mekton Empire, but set in our own galaxy. Written up in the Mekton Zeta rulebook before being abandoned.
  • Starblade Battalion: The last published sourcebook in the Mekton line to date. A sequel to Cyberpunk 2020, but set so far in its future that you wouldn't notice. Earth and its Pleiades Colonies locked by their respective governments in a war that nobody really wants, that the titular Starblade Battalion (a rebel group made up from disidents of both sides plus Space Pirates) tries to stop. Easily comparable to Zeta Gundam, or the more recent Mobile Suit Gundam 00.

Fan Settings

  • Virtual Mekton[1] : Teenagers battle it out in virtual-reality mecha combat, in between school and other activities. Inspired by the game Virtual On and the manga Break-Age

A new edition of Mekton has been bandied around for over a decade now under various names such as Mekton Double Zeta and Mekton ZERO. However, the game itself has been essentially out of print and all attempts to revive it have thus far resulted in extensive delays and cancellations. Mike Pondsmith has, however, informed the Mekton Z mailing list that he's working on Mekton Zero. Given that RTG finally released Cyberpunk V3 after all these years, there may yet be hope.

...of course, that's also what's been said the last few times a new edition was announced.


Mekton provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Author Existence Failure -subverted. RTG's been said to have gone out of business on multiple occasions. They actually just work at speeds rivaling glaciers.
  • Combining Mecha
  • Doppelganger Spin (The Shadow Imager)
  • Failure Is the Only Option (Dremmond's death and exocution of his Master Plan in Rimfire cannot be averted, no matter what the players do.)
    • Also somewhat descriptive of the game's curent state with numerous false starts and abandoned products over the last decade.
      • Though thankfully that seems to be changing, if some of what's been mentioned on the mailing list is true.
  • Executive Meddling (the Algol 1530 soucrebook was cancelled and the whole Algol setting discontinued becuse the then cheif editor "didn't like it")
    • Has since been counter-meddled by Mike Pondsmith; Algol is apparently the default setting for Mekton Zero. And thankfully Mike's had the common sense to avert Mailing List Meddling. Thus far.
  • Falling Into the Cockpit (Likely to be invoked at least once.)
  • Frickin' Laser Beams
  • Game Breaker - Quite a few (for both players and Referees), though some are less obvious than others. Luck, an otherwise useless attribute (despite the official suggestion of how to determine psi abilities), is the source of one of these, as it's possible to get a result of 40~45 on any given skill roll with the proper setup, almost guaranteeing a critical (and possibly even an instant kill) in combat.
    • A handful of the game breakers can be negated by a watchful referee, especially if they require the players to run all designs by them. The easiest of these to spot are the scaling exploits, in which a munchkin tries to design a game-breaking mekton abusing the scaling rules.
    • Burst (especially Burst Infinite) can easily become this, if used right. It is quite possible, in Mekton Zeta, to create an energy chainsaw that can quite literally saw a battleship in half, every other turn (using the 'cooldown' turns to close in on a new target) for about a hundred points.
    • To get an idea of just how damn many exist, take a gander at The Mekton Technical System Abuse Catalog.
  • Humongous Mecha (Duh.)
  • Incredibly Lame Pun (Many mecha and character names. And not just in the fan settings. North Frozen, ferchrissake...)
    • Notable in that some puns (such as the aforementioned North Frozen) are dual-use Shout Outs and Take Thats against various mecha franchises. The R. Talsorian lot has a screwy sense of humor...
  • Laser Blade (Energy Melee Weapons)
  • Little Miss Badass (Quite a few in the VM setting)
  • Macross Missile Massacre (Missile weapons were worthless unless fired in huge swarms)
  • Mecha Tropes: DUH. Their Mekton Plus sourcebook reads like a checklist. A Mech by Any Other Name? Check. Meta Mecha? Check. Mini-Mecha? Check. Motion Capture Mecha? Check. Animal Mecha? Check. Telescoping Robot? Check.
  • More Dakka (Burst 8)
  • Organic Technology (An expensive but potent upgrade from that Mekton Plus sourcebook.)
  • Narm (Dremmond's death scene)
  • Point Defenseless: Somewhat averted in that a properly-designed point defense system can utterly shred Mektons, and do it from a much further range than they can be effectively replied to. However, for this reason, many GMs prefer NOT to properly design their point defense systems.
  • Powered Armor
  • Psychic Powers
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Except that females have a slightly higher chance of having psionic powers if those rules are used.
    • House Rules: Although slightly encouraged all around, The Mekton Z+ rulebook makes it clear that the method provided for determining random psionic abilities in PCs is just a suggestion and that referees [the Game Masters] have the final say in how to determine them.
  • Railroading (The Operation Rimfire module for Mekton II read more like a script then an adventure - everything was predtermiend, right down to the villain's Narmy death.)
    • Despite the railroading, Rimfire is easily the single most popular Mekton module there is, which says a lot about the Mekton playerbase.
  • Rasputinian Death (Lord Dremmond)
  • Real Robot (All official settings)
  • Reverse Funny Aneurysm (In Operation Rimfire, one of the characters had a girlfriend called Maria who was brainwashed and given an alternate personality. Nearly two decades later, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 was made...)
  • Running Gag (similarly-named NPC pilots asking the also similarly-named NPC techs to build outrageous designs and being hit on the head with a wrench are depicted in almost all versions of the game)
    • The Mekton Z mailing list has a few, the largest of which involves action figures after Cyberpunk V3's rather unique choice of illustration materials.
  • Shout-Out (Several, to various mecha anime)
  • Super-Deformed (yes, it even has rules for this.)
  • Super Robot (It can do these too. Super robots statted out in the first Mecha Manual include the Zeiru Ronin and the combiners GodFang Y, GodWing X and GodGriffon VX.)
  • This Is a Drill (The Mekton Zeta corebook lists drills among the weapons)
  • Transforming Mecha
  • Space Pirates (Starblade Battalion)
  • The Tetris Effect (If you're on the mailing list, odds are this trope probably applies. A casual player wouldn't take the time to stat Tupperware, after all.)
  • Wave Motion Gun (You can set up a charging time for your energy weapons, which gives a steadily more significant discount as the time gets longer. Add this to Mega-Beam, which lets you hit every location on your target at once, and make the weapon big enough...)
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair (the infamous PC Hair Colour table)
    • Lampshaded mercilessly in Starblade, where blue hair is mentioned as a typical heroic trait...
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